Konnected Alarm Panel Review
When we bought our new home more than 10 years ago, it came pre-wired with window and door sensors throughout. For years, home security companies have partnered with builders to put these in as a way to get new customers. After you move in, you just call them and they add a security panel and other devices and start charging you a monthly fee to monitor your home.
Affiliate Disclosure: This page contains links that may earn us a commission from Konnected. We received the Konnected Alarm Panel v2 as part of this review. Opinions and conclusions are our own.
We were never interested in subscription home monitoring so these sensors sat unused for years. Once we got started with smart home technology, we started adding motion sensors. For instance, when we walk in the laundry room, the light comes on, if we leave the closet, after a few minutes that light shuts off. The technology has improved a lot and they’ve gotten smaller and easier to use, but they all still need batteries.
Konnected on Kickstarter
A few years ago, we learned about a Kickstarter project for the Konnected Alarm Panel. While we are definitely early adopters, we don’t normally work with products at this stage. But the Konnected Alarm Panel promised to put all those window and door sensors to work for us, so we decided it was worth a try.
We got an early kit and after some tinkering, including downloading some code from GitHub, we were able to connect several of our window sensors and get access to them through our SmartThings home hub. While the set-up was complex, we were pleased with the results and have been using it ever since.
Nate Clark and his team at Konnected had a successful launch on Kickstarter and now they have built a great business making existing alarm systems smart.
Konnected now sells both a conversion kit, that allows you to convert and access the sensors from an old alarm panel or from ones you never connected like ours, and an interface kit that lets you keep using your alarm service but gives you more control over all those sensors in your smart home platform.
If you install the Konnected system but you still want the peace of mind of external monitoring, they have partnered with Noonlight to offer 24/7 professional call centers in the US that can dispatch first responders in case of an emergency.
Konnected also now supports four different DIY smart home platforms – SmartThings, Home Assistant, Open HAB and Hubitat.
Konnected Alarm Panel v2
We decided it was time to try the new version of the Konnected Alarm Panel and see if it really was easier to install. Nate sent us a Konnected Alarm Panel v2, the second generation, that connects six sensors, plus an add-on board that connects an additional six. With this panel we can connect up to 12 different windows or doors to our SmartThings Hub. We also got a kit that includes labels, power cords and the all important Konnected window sticker so visitors know we are protected.
The first thing you notice is the packaging – very professional, compared to our original Kickstarter kit. But what about the software? Let’s find out.
Usually we install our smart home gadgets with our phones. With Konnected, we used our laptop so we could follow along with the detailed user documentation on their site.
We plugged in our two Konnected boards and connected both of them to our home Wi-Fi network. Once they were on our network, we were ready to move on to the next step, using the Konnected Cloud.
Konnected now has a phone app to attach the boards to their Konnected Cloud and define the zones and types of sensors you are monitoring. This was much easier than our original installation. The team did a great job with this app and with the documentation.
Finding Sensors and Zones
In our case, we had never installed an alarm panel, so finding the pre-installed wires was a bit of a challenge. We called our builder and located the company who had done the wiring. After we got their advice, with some trial and error with a signal generator, we were able to manually identify the wires for all of our windows and some, but not all of our doors.
If you already have a system installed, even systems 20 years old or more, installation should be a lot easier as you are just moving the wires from your old system. When you move the wires, make sure you do it carefully and label each one, so you can keep track of which sensors you are connecting.
Synching Zones to your Smart Home
Since we had already found and labeled our zones in the house, we just needed to use the Konnected app to sync them to the Konnected Cloud and then to SmartThings. We followed the instructions, connected to the new Konnected Alarm Panel, and defined the all the window sensor zones.
Connecting to SmartThings
Konnected now supports four different smart home hubs, but we are still using it with SmartThings. Connecting to SmartThings is much easier than before.
Just sign into SmartThings, follow the prompts to add a device, assign it to a room, sign into your Konnected account, and the two systems are connected. This process took much longer before and included loading some code. Now it’s faster and more streamlined.
With the new Konnected App, you don’t even need an actual SmartThings hub to use the wired sensors. After the two accounts are linked, you can control the wired sensors via the cloud using only the SmartThings app.
Connecting the Wires
After we connected the boards to the Konnected Cloud and to SmartThings, we installed the boards and added the sensor connections. We were replacing our original boards, so they were already labeled, so it was just a matter of removing the old boards and attaching the wires to the new ones.
Working with SmartThings
We now have nearly all of our wired window and door sensors connected to SmartThings so we can use them to trigger actions and notify us in case of an intrusion, or let us know if we left the windows open when we go out.
SmartThings includes an Arm and Disarm function to allow us to self-monitor our home when we are away. Once the system is “armed,” if someone opens one of the connected windows or doors, we will get an immediate notification on our phones. We can also have SmartThings do other things and work with Alexa to create routines with these doors and windows.
One thing we love about SmartThings is the built-in presence detection. SmartThings knows if one or both of us are home through our phones, and it will automatically arm and disarm the system accordingly. Before we go to bed, we have SmartThings automatically set our house to Arm – Stay and alert us if one of these sensors is triggered during the night.
Additional sensors and accessories
In addition to wired window and door sensors, Konnected can work with nearly all of the wired alarm sensors you already have installed – such as motion sensors, glass break, leak and smoke detectors. You can attach a siren and a strobe light and a backup battery to make sure everything keeps working if the power goes out.
Konnected Alarm Panel Pro – coming soon
We use our Konnected Alarm Panels over Wi-Fi and plug them in to an open outlet and they work just great. But it would be really nice for home professionals and large installations to be able to wire them into Ethernet to connect and power them using Power-over-Ethernet (POE). The Konnected Alarm Panel Pro is now available for pre-order and is expected to begin shipping soon.
We love the Konnected Alarm Panel and the flexibility it gives us to access all our wired window and door sensors we never thought we would be able to utilize. But beyond our conversion set-up, Konnected has created a whole line of products that allow homeowners to update and upgrade their home security systems and get more control of their own homes.
Whether you want to convert and replace your unused system or interface to the one you are already using, you can use a Konnected kit to attach your wired sensors to your favorite smart home platform and use them for home automation. The conversion and interface kits are both available in 6, 12, 18 and 24-zone kits from the Konnected website.
If you’re ready to try the Konnected Alarm Panel, click here to receive a 10% discount on your first order.